Getting Here and Around in Sado Island (Sado-ga-shima)
Getting Here and Around
Sado Kisen has two main ferry routes, both with regular ferry and hydrofoil service. From Niigata to Ryotsu the journey takes 2½ hours, with six or seven crossings a day; the one-way fare is ¥2,320 to ¥6,470, depending on what class you choose. The jetfoil (¥6,220 one-way) takes one hour, with 10 or 11 crossings daily in summer, three in winter. The bus from Bay No. 6 in front of the JR Niigata Station takes 15 minutes (¥200) to reach the dock.
Between Ogi and Naoetsu, the hydrofoil cost is the same as the Niigata–Ryotsu crossing.
Depending on the season, one to three ferries sail between Teradomari (a port between Niigata and Naoetsu) and Akadomari, taking two hours. The fare is ¥2,760. The port is five minutes on foot from the Teradomari bus station, and 10 minutes by bus from the JR train station (take the Teradomari-ko bus).
Frequent bus service is available between major towns on Sado-ga-shima. The 90-minute bus ride from Ryotsu to Aikawa departs every 30 minutes and costs ¥740. Two-day weekend passes for unlimited bus travel are ¥2,000. In hop-on, hop-off zones it is possible to flag the bus driver or get off anywhere on most routes, which is convenient for sightseeing.
From May through November, four- and eight-hour tours of the island depart from Ryotsu and Ogi. These buses have a magnetic attraction to souvenir shops. The best compromise is to use the tour bus for the mountain skyline drive (¥4,500), then rent a bike to explore on your own. You can make bus-tour reservations directly with the Niigata Kotsu Regular Sightseeing Bus Center.
Sado Kisen Ferries (353 Ryotsu Minato, Sado-shi, Niigata-ken, 952-0014. 0259/27–5111. Daily 8:30–5.)
Niigata Kotsu Regular Sightseeing Bus Center (1–6–1 Bandai, Niigata, Niigata-ken, 951-8053. 0259/52–3200.)
Sado Tourism Association (Ryotsu Port, Terminal Bldg., 353 Ryotsu-minato, Sado-shi, Niigata-ken, 952-0014. 0259/57–5000. www.visitsado.com/en.)
Senkaku Bay Tourism (432 Tassha, Sado-shi, Niigata-ken, 952-0027. 0259/75–2221.)
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